What Is A Legacy Drawer And Why Do You Need One

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This article will walk you through a Legacy Drawer Set Up so you can create one for your own home. What it is, why you need one, what is included, and why it will benefit your family as you age.

Tips for Living a Simple Life that takes care of you, your home, and your entire family.

legacy drawer set up

When I first heard of a Legacy Drawer I had absolutely no idea what it was. To me, it sounded like a collection of memories that I wanted to pass on to my kids and grandkids.

After some research and reading up the background at Dave Ramsey, I was surprised to find out that a legacy drawer is something completely different than I first realized. That instead of a memory file of random collections, it is actually a tool that is used to organized your wishes as you age, and that is something not only useful but necessary for our children as we get older. 

how to setup a legacy drawer

What is a Legacy Drawer?

A legacy drawer is where you house all of you and your family’s important information so it can be easily found in the event that something happens to you. This includes passwords, financinal papers, locations of deeds and end of life wishes.

Be sure to grab the FREE Legacy Drawer File List below!!

Yes, I know not a pleasant thing to talk about, but when you look at it as a tool, an incredibly valuable one that will help your family in a difficult situation… it changes things up just a bit.

No matter what your age or the size of your family you really should consider setting one up. You have worked so hard for the home and life you have created so far and by having a specific location to house all of your important papers it will ensure everything remains intact.

Whether you are single, married, have children or not, everyone should prepare for their future to ensure it remains with your family.

How To Set Up A Legacy Drawer

Let’s look at the key parts of setting up a legacy drawer as well as what to include inside.

Step #1.  Decide on a Safe Location

The first thing to know is the area you choose does not need to be a drawer. I can be any place really as long as it is safe and able to be secured with a lock or a passkey.

You will want to choose a location that is easy to find as well as easy to access by anyone in your family that you give permission to. A few ideas are:

  1. A filing cabinet with a lock.
  2. A small safe.
  3. A lock box at a bank.
  4. A desk drawer with a lock.

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No matter what option you choose, be sure that the people you designate to have access to this area knows where the location is as well as the keys.

Be sure to grab the FREE Legacy Drawer File List below!!

Step #2  What to Include in Your Legacy Drawer

What you include in your legacy drawer will differ from what we have in ours. This list of documents is simply a guide to help you customize a list specific for you.

In most cases having the original copy of your documents may not always be an option, in this case, a copy is fine. I would, however, make a note of where the original is being kept just in case it is needed. 

Remember to be sure to cover all your bases so that this tool is a complete and resourceful one. 

1. Cover Letter

The cover letter will give the reason and purpose of the drawer helping whoever is accessing the items to do so with confidence. Making decisions at this time can be incredibly difficult. Look at this drawer as a gift, one you are setting up to make this process less stressful for the person you have designated. 

2. Will and Estate Plans

You will want to include all the information regarding your will and your estate. Be sure to include the name(s) of your executor and the Power of Attorney if one is assigned.

You can also have a list of duties you see each person handling as a way to make this process less overwhelming. 

how to set up a legacy drawer

3. Insurance Policies

All the information you have for life, health, home, and car insurance should be included. It may be easier to keep a cover sheet explaining each policy that can be used as an index. Include contact names, phone numbers, and addresses as well.

4. Financial Accounts

Include all information regarding checking, savings, CD, investments, 401k, all loans, mortgage, credit cards, memberships, etc. Anything that involves money that is in you and/or your spouse’s name should be included.

List the bank, account numbers and phone number of each establishment. Remember, each company will need to be contacted so be sure to include any information that will help to make this task a bit easier.

5. Legal Documents 

Include any deeds, social security cards, birth certificates, passports, and titles. If you cannot put the originals in, a copy should be kept in its place along with a note giving the location of the original.

6. Passwords

Keep a list of any passwords to accounts or sites that may need to be accessed on your behalf. List the site, the username, password and the reason why you are including it.

You can use a notebook or a password book to keep things easy to find and organized. 

7. Safe Deposit Box 

It’s true that not many people have safe deposit boxes anymore, but if you do make sure to include the information on where it is and how to access it. Keeping copies of what is in your legacy drawer in your safety deposit box is a great back up to have as well.

8. Monthly Budget

If you are in charge of the bills and budget for your home this can be quite helpful for your spouse or loved ones. Knowing exactly what bills are to be paid each month will allow them to focus on other things. 

Include a list of online accounts, automatic payment schedules, and any promotional information including dates and details.

9. Tax Returns

Keeping a copy of 2-3 years of tax returns is helpful. You do not need to include everything but the main return can be helpful. You will also want to include the location of past tax returns just in case they need to be accessed.

10. Funeral Instructions

Listing exactly what you would like done in the event of your death can be so incredibly helpful for your family. The last thing they want to do is make important decisions. Having a list of the “what and how” will be so comforting for your loved ones.

Do your best to keep things specific and straight forward including all the details for both yourself and your spouse if you are married.

Be sure to include plot locations, stone information, any pall bearer requests, and what has been arranged and paid for to this point. Include names and numbers of any businesses or reps that you have deals with.

11. Letters to Loved Ones

You may also want to include a letter to each of your family members. I really do love this part of the Legacy Drawer. Taking the time to let family and/or friends know how much you loved and appreciated them will be such a comfort. A comfort for you now and a comfort for them later on. 

Give your feelings life with words that are down on paper so your love is known to whomever it was given to.

a woman in a jean jacket writing a letter

Step #3. Have a Family Meeting

Once you decide to set up a legacy drawer, you will want to talk things over with your family if possible. Your goal is to explain the purpose of the drawer, what is located inside, and what is expected of them if something was to happen to you and/or your spouse.

A meeting will assure you that everyone understands what is expected as well as to allow for any questions.

I find it is best to be proactive in situations such as this. Keep your family well informed so your wishes are known now in the event something happens later. 

older couple walking in the woods. How to set up a legacy drawer

I realize this is not a fun or exciting task to think about doing. However, knowing the comfort you will be giving your family at such an emotional time should be enough incentive to at least get this on your to-do list.

A Legacy Drawer is a gift. A gift for you knowing things are covered the way you want them to be and a gift for those that need to handle your estate later on.  

More Simple Living Reads:

Give your family the gift of a legacy drawer. Protect what you have for them. No matter how old you are or whether you are married with children, having a legacy drawer in place is a comfort to both you and your family. #retirement #moneysavingtips #simpleliving #legacydrawer
Having a legacy drawer is a simple thing to set up and so important for your family. No matter how old you are or whether you are married with children, having a legacy drawer in place is a comfort to both you and your family. #retirement #moneysavingtips #simpleliving #legacydrawer

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